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Thread: [Primer] UB Death's Shadow

  1. #321

    Re: [Primer] UB Death's Shadow

    Maindeck pop is really bad in Delver unless you can reliably pivot to being a burn deck, which you can't really do with this list (compared to e.g. a UR delver list which would probably have multiple chain lightnings instead of cards like thoughtseize or snuff out)

    This is by far the deckbuilding article I have linked people to more than any other and I still have to keep doing it:

    https://articles.starcitygames.com/p...ughtseize-you/
    A common pitfall that I see among newer deckbuilders is a draw towards B/R decks that feature both a lot of burn and a lot of Thoughtseize effects. This is natural because black and red are a likely pair according to Magicís flavor and those are among the most iconic effects that each color has to offer.

    However, the reality is that Thoughtseize is exactly what a burn deck does not want. The strength of burn is that itís difficult for the opponent to interact with through ordinary means, so if you add Thoughtseize to the deck in the place of a card that would otherwise contribute to your game plan, youíre really just giving your opponent exactly what they wantóa way to trade off cards against you.

    In my experience, such decks are excellent at getting the opponent down to five life but are not the best at actually winning games.
    Winter Orb is a really feast-or-famine card in the sense that some situations it's great and sometimes it either does little/nothing or it actually harms you more than the opponent.
    You should realize that this kind of delver/daze/fow etc strategy that you are using yourself and recognize Orb can be good in is one of the most popular decks in legacy, and therefore a large number of your opponents will be also playing a deck that Orb doesn't help against. You probably don't want to play a card like this in your maindeck.

    Cephalid Coliseum is a cute idea but I think it will just hurt you in the long run more by not being a dual land than the draw-3 ability will help.

  2. #322
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    Re: [Primer] UB Death's Shadow

    Thank you both for the feedback!

    Winter Orb: Excellent point that other Delver decks can consider running this card in their sideboards; casting it is likely going to hurt us both about equally, making it a blank draw in those matchups. Against something like the old BUG Deliver lists those might be fine but the current UR lists are a different deck entirely. I'll move these to the sideboard to bring in against decks like Jund and Maverick. This also lets me replace Snuff Out with Dismember in the maindeck.

    Price of Progress: Comparing this to Flame Rift makes both cards look pretty bad. Although it's still an interesting card I'll cut it for now but keep it in mind.

    Lands: If I put two Brazen Borrower into the maindeck it makes even more sense to run a single basic Island. I admit, I forgot about the various 8-Moon type decks.

    Thanks for the link to the great article about Thoughtseize, especially in the context of Price of Progress in this deck. I'm dabbling with Death's Shadow coming from a BUG Delver and Jund background, which are much more aggro-control decks rather than this more aggro-tempo archetype.

    Spell Pierce versus Force of Negation: I'll admit, this is because I don't own any FoN and they're relatively expensive (I'm also short a Volcanic Island).

    It's not very unique or exciting, but these changes (-2 Orb, -2 Price of Progress, -2 Snuff Out, -1 Cephalid Coliseum, +2 Brazen Borrower, +3 Dismember, +1 Preordain, +1 Island) do look like they will streamline the deck.

    At that point is it worth running red for Bolts and Pyroblasts? Maybe I should be straight UB like the generally-accepted standard version of the deck, or splashing green (for which I do have a Tropical Island).

    I'll rework the sideboard too to incorporate Winter Orb and pick some less expensive removal.
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  3. #323
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    Re: [Primer] UB Death's Shadow

    Brazen Borrower does heavy lifting in the matchups where it is good.

    I'm partial to the green splash for Berserk, but not positive the splash continues to be worth it with Oko banned.

  4. #324
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    Re: [Primer] UB Death's Shadow

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTroll View Post
    Spell Pierce versus Force of Negation: I'll admit, this is because I don't own any FoN and they're relatively expensive
    Spell Pierce is probably fine for now. Being a Thoughtseize + Force of Will deck does a lot against combo, and without worrying about Oko in the format you don't have to have the extra Forces to stay on tempo. In the Oko era you would have to make sure to get on-board yourself, using all of your mana, and still have a Force up for Oko. Long story short: I don't know how many maindeck Forces are correct anymore. It was standard to play 6-7 in the Oko/Arcanist era, but I'm not sure it's correct anymore (despite me already saying otherwise.) Regardless, plan to pick up some Force of Negations for tournament play if you are going to do paper events in the future.

    It's not very unique or exciting, but these changes (-2 Orb, -2 Price of Progress, -2 Snuff Out, -1 Cephalid Coliseum, +2 Brazen Borrower, +3 Dismember, +1 Preordain, +1 Island) do look like they will streamline the deck.
    We are just going on previous knowledge of what worked; I don't think it's wrong to experiment or put your own spin on a deck based on playstyle or metagame. This forum is so you know what others have done, whether it worked or not, and how to move forward. Truthfully, I'm always struggling on how to splash red in this deck because I love Lightning Bolt, Pyroblast and Abrade are awesome sideboard cards, and it naturally feels like it serves the aggressive plan. It doesn't always pan out that way, but that doesn't mean that the fundamental approach is wrong. Timing is everything.

    At that point is it worth running red for Bolts and Pyroblasts? Maybe I should be straight UB like the generally-accepted standard version of the deck, or splashing green (for which I do have a Tropical Island).
    You can always make an argument for a red splash to fight blue mirrors. In the Top-Miracles era red was splashed *only* for Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast, because it was so important to fight the mirrors. What makes the decision sticky is Thoughtseize, which does so much heavy lifting for the deck that it can be possible to avoid the mana-base instability. Thoughtseize isn't a perfect answer for anything in the format, but it's useful against more decks than Pyroblast.

    I'll rework the sideboard too to incorporate Winter Orb and pick some less expensive removal.
    The card you're looking for is Plague Engineer; you can play it under Thalia and it does a ton of work against D&T, Elves, Goblins, and a slew of other decks as well. It's easier to cast because it only needs 2B, so that's why it's better than Fire Covenant. The best removals are Fatal Push, Snuff Out, Dismember, Plague Engineer, Toxic Deluge, Drown in the Loch, and Liliana's Triumph.

    In general, you want complete control over your life total. Cards that are conditionally awesome (like Price of Progress) open you up to variance. Street Wraith does the same job but instead of being a conditional removal it's an unconditional card draw, every time. If you're looking for cool tricks the aforementioned Berserk is a good one, but also Apostle's Blessing is a great option. I've always wanted to mess around with a singleton Tainted Strike as a pseudo-Berserk in black, but it doesn't provide trample and if you don't have a 10/10 unblocked Shadow it literally does nothing (a 9/9 Shadow outclasses most threats already, you don't need infect to shrink opponent's chump blockers.)

    I've also messed around with Dark Confidant, a card that on it's surface looks tailor-made for Shadow decks. It doesn't pan out that way simply because again, you don't have control over your top-decks unless you have Ponder/Brainstorm, and if you have Ponder/Brainstorm you should be digging into ways to win already. Confidant could be a sideboard card if we ever decide to board out Force of Wills, but even then it might do too much damage, or too little, to make it worth playing with Shadow. Another pet card of mine is Bitterblossom, something I'm always trying to shoe-horn into my decks. In general it's a very powerful card against certain matchups that could see some play again.
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  5. #325

    Re: [Primer] UB Death's Shadow

    I'm thinking of trying a list with stifles and 'Noughts. Stifle isn't what a lot of people like, and especially in Thoughtseize lists, but I often choose cards I like over honed lists unless it's for a large competitive event. Has anyone considered this before?

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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    Re: [Primer] UB Death's Shadow

    Quote Originally Posted by Secretly.A.Bee View Post
    I'm thinking of trying a list with stifles and 'Noughts. Stifle isn't what a lot of people like, and especially in Thoughtseize lists, but I often choose cards I like over honed lists unless it's for a large competitive event. Has anyone considered this before?
    Not enough room to run Shadow and Dreadnought. The card that unites them does not currently exist (land or 2-3cmc not-creature effect that says for every life gained by you is life lost by opponent), to be combined with Orzhov Charm and Arguel's Blood Fast. This is not a viable mash-up at this time.

    There is no Dreadstill or Stiflenought list in UB that can post a higher winrate than UBw Landstill.

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    Re: [Primer] UB Death's Shadow

    Quote Originally Posted by Secretly.A.Bee View Post
    I'm thinking of trying a list with stifles and 'Noughts. Stifle isn't what a lot of people like, and especially in Thoughtseize lists, but I often choose cards I like over honed lists unless it's for a large competitive event. Has anyone considered this before?

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
    I tried it for a little while, back before covid derailed my local legacy scene. It was certainly fun, but as Fox eludes, it's hard to get everything in there. I ended up trying several different routes: Dark Confidant, cutting Delver, cutting Daze, etc. It got derailed into an Arclight Phoenix/Shadow discussion for a little bit at the end, too. This is a link to the theory-crafting/discussion:

    http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/s...8-Death-Nought
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